BEHIND THE BEAUTIFUL FOREVERS:
Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity.
By Katherine Boo.
Random House. 256 pp. $27
In Behind the Beautiful Forevers, a portrait of a slum in Mumbai, India, Katherine Boo sketches characters with Dickensian vividness against the black machinations of communal enmities, caste and ethnic politics, class prejudice, sexism, and corruption. Boo, whose long-form journalism on the American poor has earned her a Pulitzer Prize, a MacArthur Fellowship, and other awards, set herself a difficult task with this, her first book: to dramatize the effects of poverty and corruption on everything they touch. The poverty in Mumbai—indeed, in all the developing world’s megacities—can reinforce ties among neighbors; more often, it breeds suspicion, gangs, and lethal jealousies.
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Bharati Mukherjee is the prize-winning author of eight novels, most recently Miss New India (2011), and two story collections. She and her husband, Clark Blaise, have collaborated on two India-based nonfiction studies, Days and Nights in Calcutta and The Sorrow and the Terror. Mukherjee is a professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley.more from this author >>
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